Secret Art Prize: the story behind the painting

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Exciting news that my painting 'Breakwater' has been long-listed for the Secret Art Prize run by Curious Duke gallery. UPDATE: Voting has now closed As always with a gallery display, this just shows the final painting and I know you like…

Exploring sketchbooks for abstract art

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As my own approach to painting abstract art has changed over the last year, this has left me wondering where sketchbooks fit in with the whole picture... If sketchbooks help to plan alternatives, test compositions and colours, how does this…

What happens in my artist day

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It seems as soon as I have a rhythm to my day, it changes!  When I first started painting again when my children were younger I found the day could so easily get swallowed up with the luxury (? I know! ) of doing domestic tasks in peace and…

Identifying what makes each painting unique

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I find working on more than one painting at once helpful for a few things: • it stops me becoming obsessive and overworking one endlessly (hopefully) • it helps me to see an overall view of my work and how it's developing • working…

Stuck in the middle with you!

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Right, I’ve got to the middle stages of a painting, and I’m stuck… These days my paintings begin with no fixed idea of outcome. I may make early choices about colour or bold shapes to get the surface active, but as the layers build…

The story of a painting; Unearthed

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Ever wondered what happened on a painting before it was finished - how it looked along the way? I wrote a while back about knowing when a painting is finished but sometimes it's hard for me to remember where it began, and quite how many stages…

Sketchbook summer-y

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Summer is sketchbook time for me - a time to re-stock the pages which can be the starting point for so many ideas. I enjoy essential time away to become absorbed in a drawing and the feeling of working on something with no judgement on the…

How to make your own charcoal and bistre ink

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Making my own charcoal and ink sort of falls in line with stuffing a mushroom - life is too short. But on holiday we sometimes do strange things to fill time and make projects with children! It is a dream of mine to have a compact travelling…

Using black and white for stronger paintings

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Making two paintings just using black and white as a tonal painting exercise seemed a natural progression of my new contrast project, even if it is way outside my normal colour comfort zone. What did I hope to learn? Our eyes see high contrast…